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Composting, recycling address fair trash


A composting program began this year at the 94th annual Durham Fair and was a success, according to Marilyn Keurajian of the Clean Energy and Sustainability Task Force.

The program, which covers of Durham and Middlefield, was started by the task force, which is chaired by Susan Michael. The program was initially open only to civic groups in the first year because of familiarity. Approximately 27 booths participated.

According to Keurajian, some commercial vendors found out about the program at the last minute and were so enthusiastic about composting they also participated.

Booths such as the Coginchaug Little League, the Levi Coe Library, and the Benchwarmers put compostable trash in specially marked green bins on loan from HQ Carting. Volunteers, who came from Michael’s ECO Club at Coginchaug Regional High School and others who heard about the program, emptied those bins in the morning and checked two other times during fair days.

Some of the compostable materials included food scraps, meat and certain other items that would otherwise end up in the trash. Keurajian said, “We told people pretty much everything but fish guts and children,” which instructed volunteers on the range of compostable materials and also served as a test to see if they were listening.

According to Keurajian, the John Lyman corn booth produced the highest volume of compostable material at the fair with “bags and bags of corn husks” and the Durham Co-op had some of the heaviest barrels because of the chicken scraps.

The material will go to a commercial interest and be broken down into a dark, nutrient rich soil. According to Keurajian, composting has a two-fold benefit. “You’re getting a usable product and you’re not throwing things away so you’re making the waste stream smaller.”



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